Download A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies by Jacqueline Stodnick, Renée Trilling PDF

By Jacqueline Stodnick, Renée Trilling

Reflecting the profound influence of serious conception at the research of the arts, this selection of unique essays examines the texts and artifacts of the Anglo-Saxon interval via key theoretical phrases equivalent to ‘ethnicity’ and ‘gender’.

  • Explores the interaction among serious concept and Anglo-Saxon studies
  • Theoretical framework will attract professional students in addition to these new to the field
  • Includes an afterword at the price of the discussion among Anglo-Saxon reports and important theory

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Extra resources for A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies

Example text

In the case of castration, the high wergild applied may even reflect a loss of gender identity. Nevertheless, impairment is only one of the conditions that disable people in medieval societies. Just as today, the greatest problem is a loss of earning capacity. Poverty is disabling, as is gender. The depictions of the female body as being in need of restraint through paralysis, although few in number, indicate that the female body is different and requires immobilization, which allows the female mind to operate better.

This wealth of terminology indicates that fine distinctions were made between varying conditions. In a study of terms for paralysis, Lisa Bezzo has shown that some adjectives, such as lama, unfere, and feþeleas – which literally means “without the power to walk” – occur in poetry, but that other words, such as lyftadl, occur in the context of medicine, such as Bald’s Leechbook, or in historiography, such as the Old English translation of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (442–444). Bald’s Leechbook uses the cognate halfdeade adl (“the half-dead disease”), which according to Cameron is hemiplegia (16).

Poverty is disabling, as is gender. The depictions of the female body as being in need of restraint through paralysis, although few in number, indicate that the female body is different and requires immobilization, which allows the female mind to operate better. Modern disability scholars have taken issue with concepts of “normality” for body and mind (Shakespeare 72), but for Anglo-Saxon writers the human form has no prescribed norm: it is at the same time sublime (because it is made in the image of God) as well as defective (since it is made mortal and frail through the Fall of Man).

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